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  1. #16
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    What works for us is to only have the envelope with the grocery money with us when we go to the store. This way we can't pull out of another envelope. I also leave the money in the bank until I need it, then I take out what I'm planning on spending. If you don't have a bank, maybe leave the cash at home and only take with you what you want to spend. You're going to have to force yourself not to cheat. Whatever you can do to make it harder to cheat, it's going to help you. I would suggest only carrying around the cash you need for the day. If it's hard to cheat, you won't.
    Good luck!

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    Registered User krbshappy71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jills55 View Post
    What works for us is to only have the envelope with the grocery money with us when we go to the store. This way we can't pull out of another envelope. I also leave the money in the bank until I need it, then I take out what I'm planning on spending. If you don't have a bank, maybe leave the cash at home and only take with you what you want to spend. You're going to have to force yourself not to cheat. Whatever you can do to make it harder to cheat, it's going to help you. I would suggest only carrying around the cash you need for the day. If it's hard to cheat, you won't.
    Good luck!
    This reminded me: Its a drag when I'm tired, but the past few months I have been writing down EVERY item price, next to the item on my grocery list, and rounding up to whole numbers. I keep a running total as I shop. It has really helped me because then I know what's on my list has been purchased, and how much (if any) free money is left over for the fun stuff. Then I march right over to the fun stuff and it is guilt-free. There's no surprises at the check-out stand, I hate that feeling of "Oh No!" and having to put things back (or dipping into other money) so this has eliminated that situation for me.

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    Registered User khaski's Avatar
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    Sounds like you need to rework your budget and stick to it, and budget tweaking can take some time. If you are getting paid 5-6 times as month, you need to break your $ going into the envelopes into 5-6 'chunks'. For instance, if you get paid 6 times in a month, figure out a REAL grocery budget and put 1/6th in each time you are paid that month. It sounds like perhaps your budget #s are unreasonable. You need to reduce your budget to what you can ACTUALLY do, or you need to make more $ to cover your actual expenses. And greebo's got it- NO CHEATING. Defeats the whole purpose. If you have so much change left at the end of the months it's messing you up and detracting from your envelopes, you either need to start rolling it and turning it back into bills to put back into your envelopes, or you need to 'shop' less so not so much is 'wasted' in change! You are short-changing (haha) yourself by dipping out of other envelopes and by converting (what sounds like) a good bit of your envelope $ into change which you then remove from the system.

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  5. #19
    Registered User Nishu's Avatar
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    The envelope system doesn't work for everyone. Some people really dig it. I hate it. Hate it. I hate going to the trouble to pull cash out every paycheck when I don't normally use it. I hate using cash. Cash has no magical power over my psyche and I don't get any feeling of anxiety watching it disappear. Why would I? I still have money in the bank. When it does get spent up, it's like it just disappears with no record. Then there's all the little things that pop up during the pay period that I just don't know what to do with.

    I even bought the Dave Ramsey envelope wallet and messing with those envelopes and their little flaps every time I want to buy something is such a huge pain that I don't do it for long.

    Before anyone points out that the system didn't work for me because I 'cheated' or lack discipline, I want to point out that in the past I've been able to live off of very little without spending anything that wasn't completely necessary. Self discipline isn't that much of an issue with me when it comes to spending. To set up arbitrary limits when I was perfectly capable controlling my spending just seemed silly.

    Judging by some of Ashley's other posts, I really doubt self discipline is the issue. And calling it "cheating" when her bills are paid, her kid is taken care of and she has money in savings just doesn't seem fair. I really don't want her to beat herself up over it.

    Ashley, I got two ideas for you. First, you might try just logging your expenses for a month in order to make sure that you really know what you spend on groceries so that you put the right amount in your envelopes. And I really think you need to leave your change in the envelope you got it from.

    If you decide to try another system, you might try what I do. Plan out your paychecks by deciding what you're going to put toward bills and savings. Plan for other expenses that might not be included in your budget categories, like if you're planning a trip to the movies or to buy new shoes. Make sure that after all these things are taken out, you have a buffer that you can use to buy groceries and gas and other small things with. If you're getting paid 5-6 times a month, you can't screw it up too badly because you won't have to wait long for a new paycheck.

    I don't know of anyone that endorses this method aside from me, but I did this for months and paid off a lot of debt with it. I still do it, and I'll probably always do it this way. IMO, the envelope system might be really good for people who have problems controlling their spending and need to see where their money is going. I'm just not one of those people, and I don't think you are either.

  6. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nishu View Post
    The envelope system doesn't work for everyone. Some people really dig it. I hate it. Hate it. I hate going to the trouble to pull cash out every paycheck when I don't normally use it. I hate using cash. Cash has no magical power over my psyche and I don't get any feeling of anxiety watching it disappear. Why would I? I still have money in the bank. When it does get spent up, it's like it just disappears with no record. Then there's all the little things that pop up during the pay period that I just don't know what to do with.

    I even bought the Dave Ramsey envelope wallet and messing with those envelopes and their little flaps every time I want to buy something is such a huge pain that I don't do it for long.

    Before anyone points out that the system didn't work for me because I 'cheated' or lack discipline, I want to point out that in the past I've been able to live off of very little without spending anything that wasn't completely necessary. Self discipline isn't that much of an issue with me when it comes to spending. To set up arbitrary limits when I was perfectly capable controlling my spending just seemed silly.

    Judging by some of Ashley's other posts, I really doubt self discipline is the issue. And calling it "cheating" when her bills are paid, her kid is taken care of and she has money in savings just doesn't seem fair. I really don't want her to beat herself up over it.

    Ashley, I got two ideas for you. First, you might try just logging your expenses for a month in order to make sure that you really know what you spend on groceries so that you put the right amount in your envelopes. And I really think you need to leave your change in the envelope you got it from.

    If you decide to try another system, you might try what I do. Plan out your paychecks by deciding what you're going to put toward bills and savings. Plan for other expenses that might not be included in your budget categories, like if you're planning a trip to the movies or to buy new shoes. Make sure that after all these things are taken out, you have a buffer that you can use to buy groceries and gas and other small things with. If you're getting paid 5-6 times a month, you can't screw it up too badly because you won't have to wait long for a new paycheck.

    I don't know of anyone that endorses this method aside from me, but I did this for months and paid off a lot of debt with it. I still do it, and I'll probably always do it this way. IMO, the envelope system might be really good for people who have problems controlling their spending and need to see where their money is going. I'm just not one of those people, and I don't think you are either.

    Thank you so much I really don't feel like I am cheating, I track every cent a spend already so I know most of my number are realistic. For January I wrote down every time I get paid and how much, I then broke it down into, car repairs, bills, rent, savings, groceries, misc, etc so everytime I get paid I know where every cent is going. I really hope this will work, I also took out things like car repair, groceries etc all at first so I won't be stealing from one envolope for something else. I get paid in cash 4 out of the 6 times a month so it works decent for me plus I pay my landlord in cash. This month I am going to leave all my change in the envolope until the end of the month and then at the end I will put it in my jar and every 2 months cash it in. My fingers are crossed that this system works for me!

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